Brain dead girl Jahi McMath released to coroner, mother: hospital
By Henry Austin, NBC News contributor
body of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old California girl declared brain dead
after suffering complications from routine tonsil surgery, has been
released to her mother by coroners, the hospital that had been treating
her said in a statement Sunday.
The Eighth-grader was released to
the coroner who then released her into the custody of her mother Latasha
Winkfield as per court order, Dr. David Durand, Chief of Pediatrics at
the Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland said in a
statement. He added that her destination is unknown.
"Our hearts go out to the family as they grieve for this sad situation and we wish them closure and peace," he said.
McMath left the hospital in a private ambulance shortly before 8 p.m.
on Sunday, Christopher Dolan, her family's attorney, told the
Associated Press, although he did not disclose her destination.
She was taken by a critical care team while attached to a ventilator but without a feeding tube, Dolan added.
"It was a very tense situation," Dolan told the AP. "Everybody played by the rules."
McMath underwent a tonsillectomy and other operations to alleviate
her sleep apnea on Dec. 9. She began bleeding profusely and went into
cardiac arrest shortly after.
The young girl's family has been in a legal battle with the hospital since doctors declared her brain dead three days after the operation.
hospital refused to fit her with a feeding tube or a breathing tube
that would help stabilize her during a move, saying it was unethical to
perform medical procedures on a dead person and she should be
disconnected from her ventilator.
Winkfield went to court to stop the machine from being disconnected.
On Friday, a judge ruled that McMath could be transferred under an
agreement with Children's Hospital and the girl's mother will be held
accountable for developments that could include Jahi going into cardiac
The Alameda County coroner's office issued a death
certificate for the girl Friday but said the document is incomplete
because no cause of death has been determined pending an autopsy.
wouldn't specify where the girl was taken but he said "they are going
to care for her, respect her and love her. And they're going to call her
Jahi, not 'the body.'"